Photo: Finca Victoria
If there is one thing that Covid-19 has drilled into us, it’s the fact that we’ve taken our ability to travel seamlessly for granted.
It’s not about luxury stays or spoiling yourself, but the very innate human need to rejuvenate the weary soul. But here’s the thing: hotels can be very wasteful places. We’ve all stayed at properties where plastic bottles are replaced daily and there is little regard to energy sources, much less meatless options for those who are on plant-based diets.
Thankfully, environmental consciousness and compassion towards animals has been on the rise with hoteliers. All around the world, properties both large and small are taking steps towards creating travel experiences with smaller environmental footprints. That means, more of them are beginning to provide vegan options in dining and sometimes even in furnishings.
Here are 5 vegan-friendly hotels around the world that you can visit and never have to worry about dietary requirements.
Photo: James Ting
Mention Greece and Santorini won’t be too far behind. Lucky for us, the island on the Aegean Sea has just welcomed its first vegan boutique hotel. MOD Santorini has opened this year, a 19-room family-run property that’s conscious of its environmental footprint. There are no plastic bottles used here and filtered water is made available in refillable glass vessels. It promises all the trappings of a classic Santorini getaway — that means jaw dropping views of the sea and cosy interiors bathed in hues of white and blue.
The best part of course, is that all the food available in the property is 100 percent vegan — and yes, that includes the in-room minibar. For breakfast, order up classics like the chickpea omelette or the ever-comforting hazelnut pancakes. Those hankering for a taste of Greece and tuck in to the Spanakopita, a Greek “pie” where layers of phyllo pastry is baked to a crisp atop spinach, onions and a melange of herbs.
Photo: Hilton London Bankside
How does an entire vegan suite sound? Everything you see and touch in the room is vegan — from the pineapple leather furnishings to vegan cleaning products and where even the bed linen is made from responsibly sourced organic cotton.
This is what the Hilton London Bankside offers. It’s conceived in partnership with leading design studio Bompas & Parr so expect tasteful interiors. It is, however, on the upper end of the price scale (and there’s only one such room) but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t enjoy the vegan-friendly posture of this property.
Vegan guests report feeling right at home as the hotel’s in-house dining options — a gin-forward bar named The Distillery and OXBO Bankside where breakfast is served — both have vegan menus available on request. You can also be seated on furnishings made from vegan leather upon request.
Photo: Agrivilla I Pini
If you need a break from the humdrum of urban life, Agrivilla I Pini in Tuscany, Italy is your ticket. It’s a tranquil property with just 11 rooms and set amidst rolling hills and lush Mediterranean gardens. The focus here is on providing guests with a meditative atmosphere from which they can soak in a slow and gentle way of life where the environment is deeply respected.
Take for instance how all of the villa’s walls are made from a mixture of clay, hemp and rice husks, resulting in interiors that’s rustic yet elegant. All furnishings from the terracotta tiles to the bedlinen are handmade.
The property has a Tuscan vegan seed-to-table restaurant that uses produce from its own garden as far as possible prepared by chefs who are equally passionate about creativity and compassion.
Photo: Puri Ganesha
A beach escape is sometimes all you need to rejuvenate your weary soul and Puri Ganesha in Bali fits the bill on so many levels. For starters, it’s located in the far north of the island, which means it is away from the well-worn paths trodden by hordes of tourists. Then, there is the property itself: there are four massive beachfront villas which come complete with garden bathrooms and private pools for you to unwind and breathe.
The collection of villas is quite isolated but fret not for there is Umbi Restaurant -- a dining gem by all measures. Here, owner Diana von Cranach, a Cordon Bleu trained chef and respected raw food expert, has put local vegan dishes at the forefront of its menu. The aim: to take guests through a culinary journey of the Indonesian archipelago through its flavours and ingredients.
Photo: La Finca Victoria